GEOG 858
Spatial Data Science for Emergency Management

Think About It


A woman crying in front of a sign that says "What did you lose during super storm sandy?
What did you lose during Super Storm Sandy?
Credit: NPR

As you read the course materials and other resources this week, think about strategies that are needed to develop geospatial data and analysis as general capability through which governments and other organizations can address the full range of emergency management challenges. Consider, in particular, what strategies are needed to make the process of using GIS and related technologies to support each stage of emergency management seamless - so that it is practical for emergency management teams to move quickly from the planning to the recovery stage as an event happens and to move among response, recovery, and planning-mitigation tasks as needed.

Also consider one common constraint - quite often the provisioning given to GIS systems to support emergency management is focused on preparedness and response phases. It's a lot harder to convince people to invest in new systems to support long-term recovery efforts. As we continue to face many and nearly simultaneous disasters, investing in recovery this way may become more and more urgent. 

Finally, much of what we have considered has focused on events impacting the USA in particular. Moving forward we will explore these issues in other places, including Nepal and Sulawesi, Indonesia. These are places with perhaps more limited resources and geospatial infrastructure and often involve the international community and organizations playing a much stronger role. So think critically about the role of geospatial analysis and what is essential versus what is in development and may roll out eventually. In terms of recovery, how does it play out in these different countries and who is leading recovery efforts?